IMF Reveals Most Nigerians Forced to Rely on Mobile Transactions, as Banks Closes 234 Branches, 649 ATMs

IMF Reveals Most Nigerians Forced to Rely on Mobile Transactions, as Banks Closes 234 Branches, 649 ATMs

  • The International Monetary Fund has revealed that Nigeria is not yet there in its financial inclusion drive
  • According to IMF, many Nigerian Banks were forced to close some of their branches and also ATM to save cost
  • The decision by the banks further dropped Nigerian rating score on IMF access to finance to 4.44 in 2020

The International Monetary Fund, IMF said Nigerian banks closed 234 branches and 649 Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, in 2020 leading to a decline in the country’s Financial Access Score (FAS) to 4.44 in the year against 4.78 in 2019.

The IMF disclosed this in its Financial Access Survey 2021 Trends and Developments released yesterday.

According to the report, the international community uses two FAS indicators to monitor the Target 8.10 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aims at strengthening the capacity of domestic financial institutions to expand access to banking and financial services.

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Nigerian Banks Closes Branches, ATMs
IMF Director Christine Lagarde Holds Meeting In Nigeria Credit: Stephen Jaffe
Source: Getty Images

The two FAS indicators are the Number of Commercial Bank Branches per 100,000 Adults and the Number of ATMs per 100,000 Adults.

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The report also showed, Nigeria recorded declines in these two critical FAS indicators and 12 other indicators among the 64 indicators measured by the FAS.

There was also a decline in the number of commercial bank branches in Nigeria to 5,158 in 2020 from 5,392 in 2019.

Consequently, the Number of Commercial Bank Branches per 1,000 km2 in Nigeria fell to 5.94 in 2020 from 5.68 in 2019.

Similarly, in terms of the number of ATMs per 100,000 Adults, the country’s Financial Access score fell to 17.19 in 2020 from 16.14 in 2020.

The reduction according to the IMF was to fall in the number of ATMs in Nigeria by 649 to 18,810 in 2020 from 19,459 in 2019.

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Also, the number of ATMs per 1,000 km2 in Nigeria fell to 20.65 in 2020 from 21.36 in 2019.

The IMF report also showed a sharp decline in the number of registered mobile money agent outlets in Nigeria to 129,154 in 2020 from 145,800 in 2019, representing 11 percent decline.

Seven Banks Declare N592bn Profit

In a related story reported that Seven banks on the Nigerian Exchange have so far declared their profit and loss from January to September.

While some of the banks declared a massive profit, Union Bank declared a N2 billion drop in profit drop.

On the flip side, Zenith Bank is leading the charge with a massive N160 billion profit after tax followed by GT bank.


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